Can France Stop Islamists in West Africa?

1 | MALI

French military action against Islamists in northern Mali, launched Jan. 11, was a long time coming. The West African nation's descent into chaos began a year ago when an alliance of tribal Tuareg and Islamists, including al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, began a rebellion in northern Mali. The Islamists were well funded and well armed. They had earned tens of millions of dollars kidnapping and ransoming Westerners and tens of millions more smuggling South American cocaine across the Sahara to Europe. At the end of 2011, when Tuareg troops loyal to...

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